My Summer Not-Reading List
I haven't necessarily hated all of them. Some of them were just annoying, while others induced a full-blown case of what I like to call "Page Rage." Some of them may be books you happen to love. Oh, well.
1) Pat Nixon: The Untold Story by Julie Nixon Eisenhower. I attempted to read this while I was on a First-Lady kick several years ago. I had just read Rosalyn Carter's auto-bio, as well as Barbara Bush's. Both were very interesting and Bush's especially was quite entertaining. I hadn't realized how funny she is. So I plunged into Pat Nixon's biography--written by her daughter--and truthfully could not get past the second chapter. I don't know if Julie is a boring writer or if her mother was just a boring person. So I skipped it and read Hillary Clinton's auto-bio instead, which I enjoyed. (Clinton's book, incidentally, make the Democrat-Gazette's bad-book list this past Sunday.)
2) The Liveliest Art by Arthur Knight. This was the textbook for a film history class I took in college. You would think a book chronicling the history of the film industry would be fascinating. Not this one. While plodding through this book for the class, I began to understand the phrase "bored to tears."
3) Preparing for Adolescence by James Dobson. At one time, this was required reading for all 12-year-olds living in Christian households. I found it more traumatizing than anything. For one thing, Dobson's awkward, mechanical description of sex makes me wonder if the man has ever had sex at all. And learning about my changing body from a middle-aged man was just plain creepy. I found Judy Blume's "Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret" much more helpful.
4) Now I Can Fly! by Jane McWhorter. Self-help books are annoying. Christian self-help books are worse. And Church of Christ Christian self-help books are downright scary. This was written by a preacher's wife from Abilene, TX, and was geared toward women struggling with their self-esteem. I guess. I've never read it. My grandmother gave it to me after her church had studied it in Ladies Class. I took it home, put it on the shelf and didn't touch it for almost eight years. Can you blame me? It has a chapter titled "I'm in Love with Me," for heaven's sake. Then one day, after my grandmother died, I decided to thumb through it out of curiosity. Tucked between the pages were four five-dollar bills. The lesson I learned is this: If someone gives you a book you think is crap, at least turn it upside-down and shake it in case there's money inside. Then you can thank the person for the money before they die.
I'm sure I've hated more books than these. I'll post them after doing some memory-repression therapy.
Labels: bad books